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Language Has a Spirit: Sakha (Yakut) Language Ideologies and Aesthetics of Sustenance

Language Has a Spirit: Sakha (Yakut) Language Ideologies and Aesthetics of Sustenance Abstract: Since the end of the Soviet period, usage of the Sakha (Yakut) language has become once again more widespread in its usage in both the public and private spheres in the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia. Language ideologies that circulated in the Soviet era focused on the rodnoi iazyk (Russian: native language); this paper examines the contact and interplay of these ideologies with indigenous Sakha beliefs about the nature of language and the reciprocal relationship between a speaker and their language(s), which involves mutual sustenance and protection. The concept of agency in language is discussed, in light of both the belief in the agentive powers possessed by the tyl ichichite (Sakha: spirit of language), and in terms of how bilingual Sakha-Russian speakers make choices about their communicative practices in terms of style and register, which has repercussions for the sustainability of the Sakha language as a whole. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arctic Anthropology University of Wisconsin Press

Language Has a Spirit: Sakha (Yakut) Language Ideologies and Aesthetics of Sustenance

Arctic Anthropology , Volume 53 (1) – Oct 5, 2016

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
University of Wisconsin System
ISSN
1933-8139
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Since the end of the Soviet period, usage of the Sakha (Yakut) language has become once again more widespread in its usage in both the public and private spheres in the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia. Language ideologies that circulated in the Soviet era focused on the rodnoi iazyk (Russian: native language); this paper examines the contact and interplay of these ideologies with indigenous Sakha beliefs about the nature of language and the reciprocal relationship between a speaker and their language(s), which involves mutual sustenance and protection. The concept of agency in language is discussed, in light of both the belief in the agentive powers possessed by the tyl ichichite (Sakha: spirit of language), and in terms of how bilingual Sakha-Russian speakers make choices about their communicative practices in terms of style and register, which has repercussions for the sustainability of the Sakha language as a whole.

Journal

Arctic AnthropologyUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Oct 5, 2016

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